What's happening to me in detachment...

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Childofmine, Feb 21, 2014.

  1. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time Staff Member

    It's been three days since I last heard from difficult child. We were face to face in the parking lot of the day shelter and I told him exactly what is on my mind right now. It felt good and I still think it was right and the right time.

    For whatever reason (I've learned his actions usually have NOTHING to do with my actions), he has not tried to contact me.

    It's been great. The old me would have started obsessing about whether or not he's alive. I do have moments when I wonder how/where he is, like when we were in the middle of a tornado warning last night.

    But honestly, I believe I'll hear soon enough if there is anything I need to know. That is huge progress for me.

    I am angry. Simmering beneath my surface is anger. Anger at the whole thing. He STILL doesn't get that the same behavior over and over again results in the SAME RESULT? He doesn't need rehab? He doesn't have a problem? He's just going to walk around all day, sleep wherever, and take drugs????? That is a life? That is what he has come to?

    I know the facts. I know about the disease. But this is how I feel right now. I know anger doesn't do anything and it's the disease, stupid. It's not him. But wow. I am angry. I am angry at him and how he evidently just doesn't have what it takes or doesn't want what it takes or whatever.

    I have no respect for that. I am so about hard work, accomplishment and moving forward. I KNOW that is me, not him. But it is really hard for me to shake that core belief system. It's hard to have any respect for him as a person, although I know I need to work toward that, and that is another piece of acceptance.

    But I'm not there yet.

    I have had a great rest of the week. I have so much more energy, and I have been getting tons of stuff done, workwise and schoolwise and otherwise.

    I spent one part of a day thinking about doing a blog and a "project" for Lent, getting rid of 40 "things" a day for the 40 days. Purging 1600 items from my house and home. I had so much fun just thinking about it, and I'm ready to do it Now, not wait until March 5 when Lent begins!!!! 40 x 40 = 1600. My SO said there wouldn't be a chair to even sit on, lol, but I can assure you I think it is entirely possible! And desirable.

    Everybody says I have too much stuff, and even as I have been shedding stuff for a while, I still have stuff I can and want to shed. I want to fly lighter. I spend a lot of time moving stuff---especially clothes---I have way too many clothes---from one place to another. Less stuff = less fooling with stuff.

    More time to do fun stuff.

    I have made a lot of progress letting go and letting God. But this is quite possibly a lifelong journey---letting go of someone I love. I am sure I will never "get there."

    One day at a time, right? I'm in brand new territory for me.
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  2. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Wow,what an upbeat and positive post COM, I am really happy for you. I can relate to every part of your post too, this detachment really does have a certain trajectory within which we grow..........

    Yup. I remember having a real 'anger phase' too. I often say detachment fits with the 5 stages of dying, not at all linear, they fly in at different times. And, they all lead to acceptance as you mentioned.

    Personally, although the anger is tough to be in, I think it is cleansing. It burns up all the other feelings and after each episode, I always felt somehow refreshed by it.

    I love that you feel energized, I feel that too. I was thinking the other day of that old saying by Margaret Mead......"post menopausal zest." I have been scurrying around with so much renewed energy, feeling vital and alive...........it is really GREAT! I think appropriate anger brings forth that renewed energy, pushes out that lethargy and malaise most of us have from living in the difficult child world.

    I was tickled by your Lent project..........I would say that is the physical manifestation of the internal "cleansing"........... that need to lighten up and get rid of stuff.........all of this growth stuff happens on all levels, emotional, mental, physical and spiritual. I liked that you combined the spiritual and the physical. I think as we cast off all of that angst from difficult child and we grow ourselves, we DO lighten up considerably..........we want to throw off the old, get rid of all that unnecessary "stuff" which bogs us down.........simplicity becomes important. I am now a big believer in 'simplicity is better', it's US who complicate things. My step granddaughter calls me a "minimalist" .............at first I wasn't thrilled with that title, but now I really enjoy it!!

    You're doing an amazing job of this COM, really. And, I agree, it is a lifelong journey............and yet, in letting go of someone you love, in going through what it takes to do that............I think that is a profound undertaking for any of us to venture through...........and what occurs in the aftermath of that 'giant let go', along with what we have to go through in order to do it............I believe places us in the best position possible to really understand what acceptance means.............gives us that glimpse of 'unlimited joy' which changes our lives in deep and sustaining ways.........there is no getting there, you're right...........you're already there!!! It's here in the NOW we want to be living.......the past is gone, the future isn't here...........the now is all that is...........ENJOY!
  3. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    I think this is such an important piece, COM. More important, more valuable, to your son than to you. You are his mother. His interpretation of self will be absolutely affected by your take on his choices, and on his life. At the place he is now, who else in all the world loves him as you do, knows who and how he was meant to be ~ and can still become ~ but you? I believe with all my heart that if the kids are ever going to come back from where they are, it will be the lifeline of their mothers' vision of who they really are, their mothers' vision of who they can be in their best incarnations of self, that will provide a lifeline to recovery. Maybe, just an unspoken spark, something that will give them the strength to believe they can do it.

    A spark is a spark. It's better than no spark.

    Your actions were correct. The outcome is not something you can control. If your son is determined to walk this path, he will. But if the time ever comes when he decides to come back, your sure assessment of his true identity will shine for him like a light in the darkest forest.

    And he will be able to find his way out.

    I believe that with all my heart, for both my kids.

    I may never see it. I may die before they choose a better way.

    But they will always know that I saw them taking that better path, that I believed, without a shadow of a doubt, that this finer person, this better, more productive path, was the one they were meant to take.

    People say I am a fool to believe as I do, to believe as fervently in my own power to believe for them when they cannot. You know what they say: I have been a fool for lesser things.

    I know who my kids are. I know what they are capable of in a way no one else, especially no one looking at them now, can know these things.

    It is hard to let go of control, COM. We have laid down the law, told them what we expect. That they do not change is infuriating. That is the part we need to learn to let go of. Do your best. Be your best self for this child who may not change his path in your lifetime.

    And let go.

    No, you don't need to work toward respecting a child who is going the wrong way. You can (and do, and cannot help but to) love him. He is your son. Much as we might wish it to be different sometimes, we love our children to distraction. I seem to have no control over that, at all. I am appalled, ashamed, so (curse word ~ a verb :O) angry. But I am powerless before the way I feel about my kids.

    But that does not mean I need to require myself to respect any smallest thing about the wrong choices, the wrong thinking, the hurtful, stupid choices they make, destroying that thing I love more than I have words to describe in the process. In a sense, and I know everyone is going to say I am wrong on this one too, but in a sense, my kids do not have the right to do what they are doing to my children.

    And that is the core of the reason I am so blindingly spitting angry, with them, with myself, with the world.

    It wasn't supposed to be this way.

    But...it is.

    It is crazy making.

    This helped me:

    mother goddess with one breast
    eaten away by worms of sorrow
    and loss

    See me, now....

    Your severed daughter
    laughing our name into echo
    all the world shall remember.

    Audre Lourde

    The Politics of Women's Spirituality
    Charlene Spretnak

    This helped me: Buy some of those little white candles, not the votives, the scented kind. I like the scent of Clean Linen. When these kinds of feelings, that kind of fear I just could not process or rationalize away happened to me (And this always happened around my son, not my daughter...he seemed more lost in his addiction than my daughter ever did.) I would light a candle for him, envisioning a light in the window, envisioning a way home, a way back to himself.

    After a time, a minute or an hour, whatever I needed, I blew the candle out. Later, I wrapped it and put it in a safe place.

    It seemed like a holy thing to me, that candle.

    That was how I loved my son, and my deepest, most confused and hurt and angry self, through the worst of it.

    No it isn't. You are right to be angry. As MWM tells us, neither mental illness nor a tendency toward alcohol or addiction are valid excuses. Though it may be harder for our kids to make the good choice, they are fully capable of doing so.

    They are choosing what they do.

    As their parents, we can ~ and I suppose, we have to force ourselves to ~ accept the brutal truth of what is happening, of what is being lost and destroyed in every minute they are on these self destructive paths. We have to know these truths, and the truth of our own powerlessness, or we will go down with them.

    And then, we have to let go.

    I don't know why it is this way. I only know that is what it looks and feels like to me.

    Maybe the difference between helping and enabling is that we enable once we know better than to hope, because we refuse to face what is.

    I don't know.

    Ha! You're not even going to believe this one, but I can help with that, too. They did not call me a helicopter mom for nothing! I earned that title fair and square.


    So, there is a site: www.flylady.com about organizing the home, cleaning and etc. Anyway, her take on getting ourselves to part with our stuff is to go through whatever closet or cupboard it is and, singing some song about our love affair having been wonderful but out you go, hope you find someone to love you half as well, put the item in a bag. Then, put the bag on the shelf. Next time we are cleaning, we either go through the bag to be sure there isn't something in there we want, or we donate the whole bag without having a peek inside. She reminds us to be gentle with ourselves as we do this, because when we bought those things, they mattered, they answered to something in us.

    And that is sacred, because we are sacred.

    It was such a cool way of looking at destressing and decluttering.

    I wish I could remember the name of the song. It was perfect for the task, sweet and funny and just so right.

    Also, we are to envision how happy someone who has nothing will be to have this thing we no longer take pleasure in.

    And we are to envision how sweet it will be to sense the calmness of simplicity, that calmness that comes with knowing our homes are filled and furnished solely with that which gives us pleasure.

    Not that I have ever done that.


    Here is a secret: husband and I came to Florida with nothing. Not so much as a fork. No sheets. No furniture. I mean, we literally came, knowing we were going to begin a life down here, with nothing but a dog, a cat, each other and the clothes on our backs.

    It has been seven years. In that time, we have moved once. Which means, we threw out everything we didn't think we needed once already in that time.

    Our house is stuffed to bursting with stuff. We are literally overflowing with stuff. I like to blame that on the attic. It is my firm belief that a person with an attic has more stuff.

    If it wasn't so disheartening, we would have a yard sale.

    It bothers me to have all that stuff I no longer love, too.

    Fortunately, you have to pull the attic steps down with a ladder. I am not strong enough to do that. husband has to do it.

    And like most men?

    husband could care less what is in the attic.

    Life is good.

  4. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time Staff Member

    If we ever do get to take that cruise together, we are going to sit and talk for hours. Or maybe we would have to have our computers and sit together and still post for hours...lol! Sometimes I can write it better than I can talk it.

    Thanks for the affirmations, Cedar and RE. I read twice what you both said.

    Yes, anger is cleansing and empowering and it makes me feel strong. I like it a lot better than sadness, which feels weak. Also necessary though.

    What I don't want to do is shower him with my anger. And I could if I don't check myself. I did show him some anger on Tuesday. That's enough for now.

    And Cedar, I like your thoughts about what he can be. And I agree that if someone thinks we can be better, that is important. Especially if that someone is our mother. But also attached to that is expectation---I don't want to have any after working so hard to rid myself as much as I can of expectation. And hope---I have that but I have to keep it distant. Telling him those things might reel me back in.

    While I KNOW he can be more---no doubt, I want to learn to ACCEPT him just like he is (def. not there yet). Tough, tough line to walk.

    If he calls me tomorrow, I really don't even have anything to say to him. Sadly, I don't think there is anything to talk about.
  5. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    I remember your teaching me about holding the imagery of the cloud and of the silver lining at the same time. I see that kind of balance in how you are coming through this. The personal challenges you are addressing in your coming into balance with what is happening to your child, I mean.

    We are always wondering about purpose and growth...isn't it an amazing thing that our situations, all so different, seem tailor-made to us, down to the smallest, most infinitesimal detail.

    Hard to be grateful when it hurts like the dickens.

    Have you read the Brene Brown materials yet, COM? Or seen the videos on TED or YouTube? Her imagery of riding the edge of discomfort is so beautifully simple. I can remember it in the midst of things sometimes, or in the aftermath, for sure.

    I would love to be gathered together around the pool on the deck of the cruise ship. The stars are out, reflecting in the pool, but the moon is not yet risen.

    That will rise, later, as it does in the picture Recovering sent us about truth.

    There are candles everywhere, and the sound of women's laughter, of voices gentle and clear and so sweet, on the wind.

  6. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    Child, your experience right now is so parallel to what I have been going through these last through months...seems like a process many of us get to. When I finally detached from difficult child it happened almost in a moment...I had been on the road for so long, but, as with you when he banged on your door at 3 AM (you said "I was plenty mad!!!" or something like that). I had a moment where what would normally have made me soooo sad, and so urgently need to do something..and then I was mad. And then the detachment took a huge step forward.

    And then, for 2 months, I was angry. I posted about it on this forum over and over. I couldn't shake it, couldn't stop it, couldn't be nice or kind to him, couldn't accept him. The anger bubbled everywhere. I told my SO--my work now is to prevent the anger from ruining my days.

    I held that in mind, and I have to say, it has eased off or even gone away. I had next to zero contact with difficult child for 2 months which helped a lot..sometimes I would be so angry, and imagine what I would say when he called and asked for somehting..but he didn't and I had to remind myself that I was now making things up to feed my anger.

    I too, ended up with nothing to say to him, as you said in your last sentence. It doesn't mean that state is forever, although it may be. It just means that in the place where you are no longer busy busy busy trying to fix things for him and he isn't allowed to be busy busy busy blaming you or fate...well, that is what you used to talk about. So now it is kind of empty air between you. Between me and difficult child.

    I did see him this week..I'll post about that later.

    I am so glad to see you continuing to feel well and strong...you will have time now for that 40x40, because difficult child won't consume your time! and once the 40x40 is done, you'll have time because you won't have to do so much care and feeding (and moving) of your stuff!

    I am happy for you.

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  7. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time Staff Member

    Thank you all so much for helping me see that this is another natural step in the process and essential for progress in my own growth and recovery.

    difficult child FB messaged me yesterday asking that we meet instead of talk by phone since he doesn't have a phone and the shelter is closed today. I answered and said ok. Then I started feeling sick in my stomach. An hour later I messaged back and said I have changed my mind and we can still talk by phone if you can get to a phone. He asked why and I said I'm not ready to see you yet.

    I felt bad saying that but I stayed with it. Because my feelings about not seeing him are stronger right now, today, than my feeling bad about telling him that.

    Wow---that is real progress! Just writing that, I saw that.

    So he may call and he may not. I am a bit anxious as I don't know what to say to him. I am planning to talk about my life and ask no questions.

    More later! Thank you so much.
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  8. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    Child...you have done so well! You are taking care of you!!! You cannot ever have a healthy relationship with him unless you let yourself get well and strong first. I had exactly that moment as well...we really are temporarily in parallel...I asked difficult child to stop calling me, told him I was not ready to talk with him or see him yet. I felt so awful, so sad (and uh, SO ANGRY AGAIN) about that...and yet...I felt so wounded, so frail, so raw...I had to heal some, to get stronger, before I could see him again. I KNOW that was the right thing..my whole body and spirit demanded it, I rarely have so much clarity. I feel you are in the same place. And you, too, are doing the right, best thing, for you, for those you love, for everyone. YOu have to tend to you, which right now means you have to stay away from the toxicitiy of your past relationship with difficult child. It is sad that it may make him sad...but for all of us our lives have sadness...that is part of our humanity. We can't protect our loved ones from that...you cannot protect him from it, and heaven knows he hasn't even an inkling of a thought of protecting you from sadness! So let him be sad today because overall that is a side effect of what it takes for you to continue on the path towards wellness, wholeness.

    Very much with you today, this weekend. Blessings and hugs to you. Go walk outside..if you are in the east, as I am....it is warm out today, and smells of spring. (it will snow later this week).

  9. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Good morning.

    COM, I am impressed that you were able to identify your own feelings of discomfort in seeing your difficult child now and that you focused on those rather then taking care of his feelings............AND, that you acted on your feelings and made a choice solely about what you need and want. That is a big step. And, ECHO, you too. You're both doing a really good job under extraordinarily difficult circumstances.

    This transition from pulling ourselves out of the fray, being able to observe it without taking the old action and then acknowledging and acting upon our own needs is a huge step..........and in terms of detaching, I think it is the crucial turning point because it's as if we are stopping a runaway train, it takes enormous strength and resolve to do it. The patterns in our own "addiction to enabling" are old and deep and to make a new pattern is hard, but you both are doing that.

    COM, sending you strength to stay the course and caring thoughts as you ride this transition through.......I am thinking about you this morning as you prepare to talk to your difficult child. Keep us posted.

    And for all of us on this journey, as we make these big steps in our own recovery process, let's not forget to acknowledge ourselves and the courage it takes to do this.............and to give ourselves the time to take really good care of ourselves, to nurture ourselves each day. Do something especially kind for yourselves today.

    I smiled at the image of all of us on that ship sitting around with our laptops writing each other while we are actually all there. It reminded me of the teenagers who are all together but texting each other or others.............so we're the "older" version of the texting crowd!

    Cedar, I love your imagery (as always) of sitting beside the pool waiting for the moon to rise. What a lovely thought.
  10. helpangel

    helpangel Active Member

    Thank you for this COM read thru it a couple times... keep thinking wow... yes... anger... wow ... I can learn from all these wise warriors... wow... lighten clutter load (95% of basement contents could go with blessings) so instead of my usual long winded rambling I will just say thank you (and know somehow you all understand)


    I use to picture when logged onto this site going up the mountain to see the guru now it's more picture of many wise warriors each on their own mountain tops all sharing wisdom with each other. I know I've said it before but I love this site & you all too
  11. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time Staff Member

    I wanted to give you all an update about yesterday. Saturday was the day he was supposed to call me between 10 and 11 for the 10-minute conversation. As I posted earlier on this thread, I got confused and agreed to meet him and then reneged on that an hour later when I realized I didn't want to do that. I was expecting him to call yesterday but I was worried about what to talk about and how to be.

    Well, the problem was solved. He didn't call at all. SO and I had decided to take his new motor home to the lake to fish for the day. It was a beautiful, perfect day here. We drove off about 10 and of course I had my phone but he never called. Later that day I checked FB and he had posted about 1:30 that he couldn't find a phone to call me earlier.

    I have no idea where he is, where he is sleeping, what he is doing or not. This is a first for me. All of the other times he was homeless he had a computer and was texting me relentlessly. I hated it but I knew he was alive. Now, he can only text me or FB message me from a day shelter computer and the day shelters are closed on the weekends.

    SO and I talked a little bit---not much at all really---about where he might be sleeping. At someone's house, at a homeless camp, who knows? The weather has been great here so I don't have to do that mommy thing of "it's so cold."

    This morning as I was driving to Al-Anon and then to church I did look around a bit but I just drove my regular route.

    This is just so strange. That my own son would be "out there" somewhere living this kind of life.

    I have had a good weekend. I told SO this morning that I'm getting to be kind of like a guy now. I can compartmentalize. I can have a good time, laugh, talk, eat, live, even thought my precious son's life is in shambles---at least that is how it appears to me.

    I need to start thinking that maybe that's not how he thinks. Maybe he is just fine.

    Like I always tell others, things don't stay the same in situations like these. There is usually a change.

    I prayed hard in church this morning on my knees. First I said Thank you Thank you Thank you and listed so many things I am grateful for, mumbling a little to myself. Then I said Help me Help Me Help me, do this thing I am having to do. Help me accept. Help me do what YOU would have me do, not my own will. Lead me to what is next and then, help me do it, whatever it is.

    So, if he goes by what i asked, I will not hear from him again until next Saturday, same time. We'll see.

    I guess this is progress? Not sure what in the world THIS is. Thanks for your continued strength that you give me and your prayers.
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  12. jugey

    jugey Active Member

    Jeepers....I'm very moved by your story. I've been following along but have zero experience or advice to share. I really admire your strength and resolve. All that you are doing/not doing feels very right from where I sit. Should I ever find myself, where you are (I hope not!), I will remember you and attempt to model how you have handled this. Just wanted to let you know you have touched my heart. Wishing you peace!!

    Sent using ConductDisorders mobile app
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  13. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Well, COM, whatever "this" is, it is your next step. You are negotiating the difficult child highway. You are doing it. This is what it looks like. Each day you respond in a different way. You do that everyday. Then one day, this is your normal. You are okay. You keep your balance point, you don't choose to ride the roller coaster, you stay on the ground and watch the roller coaster............and maybe even walk away while the ride goes on.

    You continue to do so well, grabbing back your own life, enjoying your moments...............the sun was still shining today and your life was moving along with SO............yes I would agree that this is clearly progress. You done good!
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  14. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    COM, I'm so impressed with your progress in the journey toward detachment. I can see the peace beginning to envelop you.

    My head's too full of my own junk at the moment to say anything remotely coherent or helpful. I just want to offer (((HUGS))) to all of us. A "Giant Group Hug" as my youngest daughter says when she insists the whole family bundle together for a cuddle.

    Keeping you all in my thoughts and my prayers. When the tangled ropes in my mind start to loosen a bit, I'll share more. Meanwhile, a Giant Group Hug to my CD family.

  15. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time Staff Member

    I wanted to give you all an update about difficult child. I haven't heard from him since Wednesday morning early of this week when he posted a FB message about his car title.

    He had messaged me the day before asking some practical questions about his car title, w-2 forms and resume. I responded and did not get overly involved. He said he was going to try to sell his car as it was just sitting there deteriorating and file his income taxes from working about 2.5 months in 2013. It sounds like he is trying to get some money together. I didn't ask any questions like where are you sleeping? are you working? What are your plans? Nothing.

    He was likely messaging me from the day shelter here in our town that is open from 6 a.m. until 3 p.m. and provides breakfast, lunch, computers, a washer/dryer, shower, etc.

    I haven't heard from him since then, no FB messages at all. I have had momentary flashes of wondering if he is okay or not. I figured the police would inform his dad and/or me soon enough if something bad happened.

    This is what I asked for. This is what I wanted to happen. That he would not be driving me crazy and asking for everything and taking no responsibility.

    Of course, my mommy mind fears the worst---he is lying in some crack house completely out of it and on heroin now (who knows if he has ever taken it or not but his drug of choice is usually prescription pills and marijuana and alcohol, to my knowledge).

    Or he is dead in a ditch.

    I am chosing not to obsess with those thoughts because I have no idea what is happening or not happening. But I do know this: He has to be on his own to figure out his life and me being involved has not been a good thing for him to this point.

    So, I am feeling my feelings, but I am not reacting to them.

    I almost drove by the day shelter Thursday but I didn't.

    I decided to wait until the hour passed today when I said he could call me. Saturdays between 10 and 11 to talk for 10 minutes. That time passed and he didn't call.

    So I texted his brother and father and asked if they have heard from him or about him from Wednesday on. They have not. I called the jail to see if he was there. He is not.

    So now what? Now, I am going to go about the rest of my day. I am going to focus on myself and having a good, happy day. I can't control what may or may not be happening with him. I realize that my old habits and old ways take me to a place where I think if I know something, that is control and power. After all, we are told that knowledge is power, right?

    But we, here, on this board, know that it is not. We know that we are powerless over drugs and alcohol and all people, places and things, but we are not helpless.

    We can help ourselves by doing the hard, hard work of change---so many tools and practices and tips that are written about on this board every day. We can do those things that make sense to us and we can spend this day on our own lives. That is all we really have so let's be grateful for those precious lives that are ours and let's make them the best we can today. And let's leave others alone to live theirs, if we can by the grace of God.

    Thank you friends, for all you write and read and share every day here on this board. It helps me so much. Thank you for allowing me to write to you and taking what you like from what I write and leaving the rest. That helps me so much. Those are tools and I am grateful for them today.
  16. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    He has to be on his own to figure out his life.

    To develop the capacity to figure out his life, he has to be on his own.

    To develop the ability to take the reins of his own life, to be the master of his own fate, he has to be on his own.

    Your son needs to know how you feel about where he has taken the life of your child.

    You are teaching him that.

    He needs to know he still has a mother, that she loves and believes in him, and that she expects him to do well if he wants a life with her in it.

    You are teaching him that. It will take as long as it takes.

    You are doing so well, Child.

    You are doing just right.

    It is so hard for us because we have never trusted our kids to do the right thing. We have opened that path for them, and blocked all the others.

    That didn't work.

    It almost seems that my kids have sought out the very things I warned them against.

    The very things.

    Your son needs to come into his manhood. Recovering posted something so poignant to me today, Child. Something to the effect that the pain and the questions that are there for our children to address are theirs alone, are theirs to figure out, to win or to lose themselves in for the sake of their selves.

    I had never thought of it in that way, before. I was always trying to open the proper paths and close off the bad ones and the kids would never be the wiser. They would think they did it on their own because of how wise and wonderful they are. But what I was really doing instead was teaching them they were inept, unable, not strong.

    We need to let them go, Child.

    Recovering (What would any of us have done, without Recovering!


    Recovering posted to me during the worst of it with difficult child daughter that I should envision my child in God's hands. n the worst days? I popped myself in there, too.

    That was what got me through. That, and the Serenity Prayer. I know you know it. I will post it again. Sometimes, we know a thing so well it stops helping us unless we see it in a different context. When you read it, Child? Please remember this prayer pulled me through terrible darkness, provided a lifeline, a glowing lifeline to sanity, to the strength to stand up, to get up, to go on to the next day.

    Finally, there were a string of days I had survived. I survived them one at a time, minute by minute.

    I began to feel better.

    I no longer needed the Serenity Prayer every day, a thousand times a day.

    I still need it sometimes, when I come awake in the night.

    Somehow, the rhythms of that prayer help me hold my own.

    And that is enough, for right now.

    God, grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
    The Courage to change the things I can,
    And the Wisdom to know the difference.

    You are doing so well, Child.

    I'm sorry for the pain...but it would only be hopeless if you were doing the same things, again.

    You picked the hardest path for you Child, but the best of all possible paths to manhood for your son.

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  17. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member


    I know so well the fear of what no contact can mean..right in the middle of the setting of insisting on distance and detachment! Be careful what you wish for, right? Sometimes the consequences feel biblical.

    I know the feeling of texting family and friends with the query..hey, heard anything from difficult child? and getting no as an answer.
    I sometimes troll facebook looking for evidence that he is alive.

    You know, my daughter, difficult child's twin, is in college 2000 miles away. She takes all the risks that college students take every day, with her school at the end of a dark winding road, and her appreciation for alcohol and being out late. I miss her sometimes when I don't hear from her, and I sometimes get cranky...but I don't get the same itchy anxiety.

    SO tells me I will hear soon enough if something is wrong, and he also tells me that it really isn't that common for people to get murdered or to die on the streets.

    I used to work in urban emergency rooms...I may have skewed fears.

    But I'll say this to you now....over time, as it turns out that he is indeed not dead, you will be able to tolerate longer and longer stretches. Its kind of like meditating...our monkey brain jumps in and jumps around in seconds when we first try to practice, 100 thoughts in 2 minutes, 1000 in 10, all silly and pointless...then one day we sit for three minutes and our thoughts float by as a river...then 10, then more. It is the same. Our thoughts and difficult children can float by as a river...love, curiosity, parental concern...they can happen without the throat constricting anxiety, the need for action, any action, even calling emergency rooms or texting friends.

    It will get better.

    My oldest sister is 60. My mom used to tell a story about how when my sister was an infant, my mom walked by her room and peeked in during naptime....and she wasn't certain she was breathing. This was before CPR. And she thought...if she is dead...there is nothing I can do about it. And I will deal with it so much better after I take a nap.

    How GREAT is that????

    Try to take your nap. Try to let him live his life, as you would a easy child. I don't hear from my beloved easy child (ex difficult child) daughter sometimes for a week or more...even my darn teenage boys that I am so engaged with disappear to their dad for a week at a time and fail to contact me or respond (although sweetly sometimes they tell me their deep thoughts and fears by text too). I trust them to be making their mistakes and winning their victories in my absence, in my ignorance.

    Lets try to get to the same place with our boys, OK? We can try together.

    I am down to babbling now...I just want you to know that I've been where you are, am really there still. And it will be oK

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  18. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member

    I am struggling with detachment, tho husband and i remind ourselves we are much better than a month ago.

    Many years ago, we went a year without talking to gfg32. Every few weeks, he would call my cell and not be there when I answered. I always called back; he never picked up.

    It helps me now to remember that. We made it. Can't say things are a bit better, but we did make it through no contact...and he lived.
  19. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    There will come a time when, now that you are seeing differently, you will begin to resent the chiding, judgmental, demanding contact with your difficult child son.

    It will be a new day.

    Life can be very sweet.

  20. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Thinking of you COM and SS, reading along, praying, sending hugs, continuing to circle the wagons...........